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Sunshine State Survey: Water is environmental issue of greatest concern to voters

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USF's school of Public Affairs and Nielsen's latest results on their annual Sunshine State Survey were released on Sept. 30th, asking how Floridians feel about crime and environmental issues.

USF Political Scientist Dr. Susan MacManus said Floridians believe Florida's biggest environmental issue is water.

"What is the biggest environmental problem facing Florida, hands down it's water, water-related problems," she said. "Specifically, 32 percent - almost the third - mention either the quality or the shortage of water."

The Sunshine State Survey shows Floridians are now more critical of the state's job protecting the environment since the 2012 survey. Only one-third of those polled believe the state is doing a good job.

When asked to identify “What is the biggest environmental problem facing Florida today?” 39% of the respondents refer to a problem involving water; 19% cite a pollution problem; 8% mention a political problem; another 7% point to potential disasters stemming from humans or nature; food production-related problems are the top concern of 2%, while 6% cite a wide range of other problems. Almost one-fifth (18%) gave no response to the question, reflecting less general knowledge of environmental challenges than of those in some other policy areas.